NBA roundup: Cavs hold off Hawks in 4th
ATLANTA (AP) – The Cleveland Cavaliers held Atlanta scoreless for almost nine minutes to open the fourth quarter and scored the first 10 points of the period to break open a close game and beat the Hawks 95-84 on Tuesday night.
Mo Williams had 20 points to lead the Cavaliers, who won in their return to Philips Arena since completing a dominant four-game sweep of the Hawks in the second round of last season’s playoffs.
Delonte West had 17 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 15 off Cleveland’s bench. LeBron James had 14 points, 10 assists and five steals but made only 6 of 20 shots from the field.
The Hawks were outscored 20-10 in the fourth quarter.
Knicks 104, Pistons 87
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – David Lee had a season-high 30 points and 12 rebounds, and the Knicks handed the Pistons their eighth straight loss.
Wilson Chandler added 23 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks. Richard Hamilton had 16 points and Rodney Stuckey scored 15 for Detroit despite combining to shoot just 11 of 34.
New York was the better team throughout the first half, outshooting the Pistons 49 percent to 37 percent on its way to a 49-40 lead. Lee had 17 points in the half, while Hamilton was 1 for 10 for Detroit.
Thunder 110, Wizards 98
WASHINGTON (AP) – Kevin Durant had 35 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Green added 18 points and the Thunder beat the Wizards for the franchise’s first four-game winning streak in 3 1/2 years.
It was the fifth straight game that Durant, who had 40 points in Monday’s win at New Jersey, topped the 30-point mark. He has exceeded 30 points nine times in Oklahoma City’s 14 December games.
The Thunder, which last won four straight from April 2-6, 2006, when they were the Seattle SuperSonics, earned their ninth road victory of the season – one more than they had during 2008-09, their first season in Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden scored 11 apiece for the Thunder. Westbrook had 10 assists.
Rockets 108, Hornets 100
HOUSTON (AP) – Aaron Brooks scored 27 points, Luis Scola added 13 points and 12 rebounds and the Rockets overcame Chris Paul’s triple-double and David West’s career game in a win over the Hornets.
Paul had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 11th career triple-double and first this season. West had 44 points and 12 rebounds, but the Hornets still slipped to 2-13 on the road this season.
Shane Battier scored 20 points and Carl Landry added 18 off the bench for the Rockets, who went 12 for 23 from 3-point range and finished with 27 assists.
Bulls 104, Pacers 95
CHICAGO (AP) – Derrick Rose scored 28 points and the Bulls blew an early 19-point lead before recovering in the second half to beat the Pacers.
Chicago’s second straight home victory could take some heat off coach Vinny Del Negro, whose job status has been the subject of much speculation after Chicago’s disappointing start (now 12-17).
The Pacers, meanwhile, lost their seventh straight. Coach Jim O’Brien got a vote of confidence earlier in the week from team president Larry Bird.
Rose had 18 of his points in the second half. John Salmons added 17 for the Bulls.
Roy Hibbert scored 17 for Indiana, which is without injured star Danny Granger.
Spurs 117, Timberwolves 99
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Richard Jefferson scored 24 points, leading the Spurs to a victory over the Timberwolves.
Jefferson delivered monster dunks, made reverse layups and sank four 3-pointers as the Spurs (18-11) rolled to their third straight victory. Jefferson scored almost every way possible except from the free throw line. Despite several strong drives to the basket, he never drew a foul.
Roger Mason Jr. added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Spurs who have won nine of 11 games.
Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 20 points. Kevin Love scored 18 and Johnny Flynn 17 for the Wolves (7-25), who have lost 10 straight to San Antonio.
Lakers 124, Warriors 118
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kobe Bryant had a season-high 44 points and 11 assists while making all 16 of his free throws, and the Lakers survived Golden State’s 55-percent shooting.
Pau Gasol had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who relied even more heavily than usual on Bryant to avoid their third loss in four games over the past five days.
Bryant came through with 17 points in the fourth quarter, clinching his seventh 40-point game of the season on two free throws with 4:04 left. He has 103 40-point games in his career, third-most in NBA history.
Corey Maggette scored 25 points and Monta Ellis added 22 for the Warriors, who beat Phoenix and Boston in the previous three days.